Monday, March 31, 2014

La Méditerranée

It's been quite a while since I've had decent Middle-Eastern food. We're royally spoilt in Melbourne with our delicious 24/7 purveyors of gyros and mezze plates within the city and out of shifty-looking food trucks that seem like the greatest idea in the world at 2am.

Berkeley doesn't quite run along the same lines. Indeed, I went to La Méditerranée for a lunch on a Saturday in much more respectable surrounds at a much more respectable time. In this case perhaps, respectability means a less delicious meal.

Heralded as the best Middle-Eastern restaurant in Berkeley, it's been around for 30 years and has won numerous awards. My friend who brought me here, raved about how much she loved it. The menu looked very promising indeed - mezze plates, kebabs, and fillo plates galore.

My friend ordered a chicken kebab plate with a side of soup (not shown), while her husband ordered a chicken kebab plate and salad.

Chicken Kebab
The serving sizes are nothing if not generous! Two full skewers of chicken on a bed of rice and a few pieces of fresh fruit. Both of them enjoyed their meals heartily.

Perhaps my expectations for the lamb kebab I ordered was too high, because I was disappointed with the end result.

Lamb Kebab
Maybe I'm just used to fattier cuts of Australian lamb but I found the meat tough and dry here. The salad was miserable in my opinion and I would probably have been better off with the soup as well. The hummus was delicious however - silky smooth and perfectly creamy (without even the tiniest bit of cream). 

While I was disappointed with my meal, it was perhaps more due to my expectations rather than the actual quality. The food is reasonably priced with large serving sizes, and the service is fast. The fillo pastries look decadently tasty, so those seem worth a try. 

As for myself, I'm unsure whether I'll return here, but at least I know what I'll be getting for dinner the first night I'm back in Melbourne.

La Méditerranée
2936 College Ave, Berkeley
Mon-Thu 10am-10pm, Fri-Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-930pm

La Mediterranee on Urbanspoon